Her plane landed a few minutes ahead of time, military precision be praised.
Thanks to that self same military precision - and a certain general now in even higher places – she knew there would be a car waiting for her to whisk her to her destination. Knowing there was no way in Netu he would be able to meet her himself, all those memos and high powered meetings made it impossible. Perversely, for a man who 'loathed and abhorred' red tape, he was actually pretty damn good at it, because of, rather than in spite of, his propensity to dispense with the usual bullshit.
She saw her name card held aloft by her designated driver as she entered the main part of the base and was led to a top of the line town car. She had to admit, he still looked after his team. She smiled. They hadn't been SG1 for a while now, but they would all forever be *his* team. It was a thought she took a great deal of comfort in.
Not that it made telling him any bit easier. For one, she wasn't sure how she felt about it. Two, she had no idea how he'd react – well, she did, kinda. And three… well, explaining this to him was going to be interesting to say the very least. She knew him well enough to know he wasn't even close to as dumb as he liked to pretend, so she knew he'd get it. He'd just use a good few of his delaying tactics to stall her while he figured out what part of his reaction he was going to let her see. Not that she didn't have a trick or two up her own sleeve. After all, where would the fun be in just telling him? She'd spent a lot of years perfecting the art of going from A to B via Q and with a pit stop at Y just to have the distinct pleasure of watching his eyes glaze over. It was a particular talent of hers and she wasn't about to let him off easy now.
Grinning she stepped from the car, acknowledged the Airman and walked the now familiar route and punched the elevator, mentally picturing the 'and's', 'so's' and smart ass remarks she was about to be treated to.
Jack looked up a fraction of a second before he heard the knock sound on his door… there was only one person his aide didn't escort in personally… or buzz the annoying buzzy thing about.
"Come in, Carter," he smiled to himself as he shuffled his files into something resembling organisation.
He watched the door swing open to reveal his ex-second.
"How did you…?"
The small furrow of her brow made Jack chuckle – on the inside – but he couldn't contain the smug grin that lit his features. "Ah, Carter, I am the all knowing, all seeing, great and powerful… me."
Her eyes rolled, he loved that.
"Yes, Sir." She soothed rather sarcastically and he conceded he'd taught her well. He came to his feet, not bothering to tuck in his shirt; it wasn't like Carter was going to start quoting dress codes at him - hopefully. There was a time and a place for an immaculately turned out officer and alone in his office wading through paperwork so wasn't one of them.
Her eyes scanned him - he could tell she had noted the open shirt collar and rolled up shirt sleeves - then flicked to the back of his chair to locate the tie and jacket. Her expression showed mild exasperation in his constant flouting of dress rules, but hey, at least he had real shoes on!
As she came around to his side of the desk, he opened his arms, ever conscious of the sheer pleasure of her walking into them. He felt her arms slide up his back, coming to rest in their now familiar position as her lips found his easily and said hello properly.
Eventually the kiss faded as naturally as it had begun and he pulled her tighter against him, taking solace in her. He'd found that a Carter snuggle could ease just about any frustration, woe or outright panic – not that he ever outright panicked, no… never.
"How was your flight?" He asked into her hair.
"Fine, how's your day been?" She answered into his neck, her breath doing wicked things to his self control.
"Oh, you know… same crap, different day." He felt her smile at the deliberate deflection from his reality and wondered if that trick had ever worked on her. Probably not. "So, I know it's not Friday yet," he deadpanned as her eyes met his, "I always have cake on Fridays, you'd think as *The Man* I could have cake whenever I wanted… oh no… not when…" He caught her look and ceased the digression. "You're here because…?"
"I thought of something."
"You know, it would have been nice to hear…'I missed you so much I just couldn't stay away from your legendary charm and good looks'…"
"Jack," she chided on a smile.
"What? It would have been…"
She shook her head. And did the cute eye roll thing again - had he mentioned he loved that? – before ignoring his last comment completely. He loved that too, by the way. Giving him a quick kiss she pulled out of his arms - didn't love that quite so much – and led him to his couch and settled beside him.
She smiled at him and laced her fingers through his, her face alight with a sparkle that only came when a woman knew her guy was totally and irrevocably whipped – and loved every minute of said…whippage. Her guy… if he wasn't the wrong side of 50 and didn't have stars on his shoulders, he would have giggled like a girl at that. Not that he ever had… ever. No siree… nope…
A tug on his hand pulled him from his mental meanderings as she wrapped said hand – and attached arm – around her shoulder and settled into his side. He didn't think she would ever know what the sensation of her thumb idly stroking back and forth over the back of his hand did to him. Although, come to think of it, by now, she probably did.
He coughed slightly before he spoke, "So, you… here… "
"Oh! Yeah!" Her reaction amused him. He wasn't the only one lost in sensation. He looked down at her upturned face and smiled a smile that was synonymous with "Later!" After all, the last time they had only been saved from something *really* embarrassing by that annoying buzz from the buzzy thing on his desk. He nudged her side, he was curious now.
She smiled at him again, and brushed another feather-light kiss across his lips – damn but he *really* loved that - before settling herself and starting her explanation of what brought her to Washington a full two days, four hours and about 23 minutes early – not that he was counting, you understand.
"OK. You remember that tape we found a couple of months back?"
"The one of us and a screwy future that wasn't really screwy after all?" his brow furrowed, that still confused him.
She nodded. "Yeah, that one," she obviously read the subtle increase in tension throughout his body perfectly as she reassured quickly, "… don't worry, we still don't have to do anything about it."
"Nice! I like it when it's easy."
"I know," she teased and he nudged her again. Had he mentioned he loved the teasing?
"It's why you love me," he grinned back.
"Jack O'Neill, I could describe you in a lot of ways, but easy is not one of them!" She mock scolded, but spoiled the whole effect with the playful twinkle in her eye. "Simple, yes. Easy? No."
He glared at her. The self same glare he used to bring many an airman into line, only on her, it just made her giggle… he loved that too.
"So…" he prodded because as much as he loved the banter, he was still as impatient as he'd always been.
"So…" she echoed, "I was thinking about it."
"Yeah, you'd think that would surprise me… you, thinking…" That earned him an elbow to the ribs. He loved that too.
"I mean, I thought of something I hadn't before. Something big…" she frowned as she searched his eyes; he frowned back as he saw something tentative flash through her features.
"Something big?" Reiteration wasn't strictly necessary, but it served as a way to get her to carry the heck on. It always had.
"Yeah, big…" It was his turn to roll his eyes, if he didn't know better; he'd swear she did that on purpose. His inner grin lit up, damn he loved that.
"Aaaaand…" he prompted, showing, he thought, remarkable patience.
He felt her smirk as she nuzzled his hand, the one around her shoulders… the one her thumb was still stroking… "Aaaaand…" she mimicked, but suddenly grew serious again."If a version of us had originally gone back in time, they must have had no way home; otherwise they wouldn't have needed to leave the video in the first place…" she stopped; obviously aware he was fighting that glazed expression he wore so well. She took pity. "The point is that they had no way home. Some version of us must have stayed stuck in Ancient Egypt."
He knew he was no intergalactic genius, but he was no slouch either. But, he just didn't get it. "So… that means what exactly?"
She didn't even hesitate. "That means that a version of me, you, Daniel and Teal'c were trapped there… for the rest of their lives."
Her implication was still eluding him and he was really trying. To be honest his most pressing understanding was the one he said. "But there'd be no fishing…"
He watched her shake her head, as if to make sure he'd actually said that. She tightened her fingers in his. "Fishing aside – by the way, have you *heard* of the Nile – there's more to it than that."
The Nile? Oh yeah… still, it wasn't his pond though. He felt her pinch the back of his hand slightly to bring him back on track. And yup, he totally had no idea where she was going with this. "And, but, so, therefore…? His impatience was kicking in now.
He skewered her with his eyes, silently demanding she cut to the chase. She obliged. "Well… have you ever wondered how the ancient gene populated the planet?"
"You mean aside from the cosmic hilarity of knowing I'd get my head sucked?" His answer was automatic, and a little bitter. *Twice*, for cryin' out loud!
She looked up at him, her expression telling him succinctly she was ignoring his flippancy and instead was urging him to think through to whatever conclusion she was aiming at. He blanked out… she smiled as she read his expression and he felt her sit up and face him, still keeping hold of his fingers… damn he loved that.
"Jack, what if the ancient gene in our population now wasn't a legacy of the *Ancients* at all…"
That meant… ok, so he had no idea what that meant.
He turned to her, as was second nature to him, for an explanation, for her to tell him what he'd realise for himself in time. He just took longer than Miss-National-Treasure, but then again, he didn't know anyone who didn't. It was a time saving exercise.
Her voice sounded, filled with the wonder and shock of the realisation she'd apparently come all the way to Washington, two days, four hours and now 6 minutes early, to tell him.
"What if you… your genes got passed to a second generation… they then get passed on again… and again and again, until the ancient gene you possess filtered through I don't know how many generations." She looked him dead in the eye and saw his dawning understanding. "Jack, you essentially could have populated the entire planet with the ancient gene we needed to save it… for the Antarctic Outpost… for the whole Expedition to Atlantis… It might all only have been possible because of you!"
She was getting excited… way too excited. The implications of what she had just said, screwed with his head too much…
"Sam, you wouldn't even let me go back for a Cubs game…" He knew there was no way in this world (or an ancient one) she'd let him futz with stuff to that extent.
"Not unless I realised that it could be that very reason the ancient gene populated the planet" she argued logically.
He scowled. "You can't know that, Carter." Ok, so it was possible, it was also *possible* he could have played NHL hockey, didn't mean it happened.
"No, maybe I can't *know* it like I know the earth is round and our sun rises in the east and sets in the west. But it's as possible as anything else I know… wormhole physics and gravitational time warping due to lensing effects…" she stopped, thankfully; his eyes were glazing over again. "The point is, it's a theory, one that's as possible as it is impossible. But the important bit is… I like it."
He just stared at her. What could he possibly say to that?
"So, that's what you came all the way to Washington to tell me?" Ok, maybe that wasn't what he should've said... but it was what he was thinking.
"No, I came all the way to Washington because I missed your legendary charm and good looks…"
She giggled – damn he really, really, loved that – as she pulled him around her again and snuggled into his side. "I had a great teacher."
"That's true," he replied, fitting her to him.
"Shall I add modesty to the charm and good looks?" Ah, the teasing again. He loved that, but he might have already mentioned that before.
"*Legendary* charm, Carter, *legendary*," he grinned as he lowered his head to kiss her. "But you know… there's only one 'native' I'd have been spreading my genes around with."
He saw her interest peak. "Oh yeah?"
"What? You think I'd have stayed stuck there with you and not screwed…" A slight pause and a rapid rethink occurred. "…the regs?" He was that busy congratulating himself on the butt-saving catch, he almost missed her comeback.
"You think *I* would have?" She answered without missing a beat, her fingers playing around his open collar.
"Good point" he conceded as her fingers found his skin.
"You know, if you think about it," talking… she was talking. He forced his mind from the journey her fingers were taking back to her voice – barely. "It could really be your own fault you got your head sucked…"
"Twice!" he interrupted.
"… twice. The Legacy of Jack O'Neill. True or not, it has a nice ring to it, don't you think?" Her smile was blinding, teasing, but blinding. And he got the feeling she'd just got him back on track. On track to what he didn't really care at that moment, he just had to kiss those lips—again.
Between kisses, he managed to answer her "Not as nice as the idea that for the whole spawning of the head sucking gene thing to happen, you and me would've had a kid… kids…" He felt her startle and he could've kicked himself. He would've if not for the knees, the back…
"Yeah," she replied, taking him totally by surprise, "agreed."
"Agreed?" That pulled him up short. So did the expression on her face… it reminded him of his elementary teacher, Mrs. Leiderman, when he'd finally figured out the whole deal with fractions.
"Jack," she blew out a contented breath, before turning in his arms and gently laying her fingers against his cheek. He loved that, too, by the way. "There was a reason I started thinking about the 'us' who got trapped in Ancient Egypt…"
He could tell by the look in her eyes that she was trying really hard to tell him something really important… but he just wasn't getting it. Or at least he wasn't until she sighed on a smile, shook her head slightly and picked up his hand. The moment she placed his hand flat on her stomach and covered it with hers, the moment her eyes pleaded with him to get it, he got it. He so, *totally*, got it.
His eyes skittered between their hands, her stomach and her eyes and when she nodded, her eyes softening and doing that luminous thing that hit him square and deep every single time, he knew the grin on his face was threatening to reach right around behind his ears. Awe, wonder and complete soul-searing happiness ripped through him faster than a zat blast and he knew without a shadow of a doubt that he didn't have the first idea of what to say. So he settled for action instead and landed the sweetest, most heart felt kiss on her lips, showing her the feelings he couldn't even begin to find words to voice.
"I love you too, Jack" She answered when he finally let them breathe.
"Always." To any other woman that one word would have been totally inadequate given the situation.
But not to this one.
Because she understood.
And, damn, but he loved that the most of all.
She felt his fingers start to stroke her arm, a sure sign that he, like her, had just about recovered from their earlier… exertions. Waiting not quite a heartbeat, she lifted her lips to his; ready for the gentle kiss she knew was coming. Snuggling deeper into his side – and, seriously, if she'd known *just* how comfy his shoulder actually was, she sure as hell wouldn't have slept with her pack as a pillow for 8 years – she grinned as his hand, again, found its way to her still flat stomach and rested over the piece of his – *their* – legacy currently residing there.
"You're evil, you know that, right?"
She grinned at his 'complaint'. "Me?"
She pretended to ponder that for a few seconds. "And you love it."
"I never said I didn't. I said you are evil."
"Good point, semantics, but good point." She giggled into his chest.
"You could've just *told* me, you know."
"And just where would the fun have been in that, Jack?" The small plug she gave his chest hair earned the requisite grunt of muted pain and the next thing she knew, she was flipped and pinned beneath him – oh the pity!
"Damn but I hope this kid takes after me… two evil geniuses in this family is more than even I…" he trailed off and she felt the mock shudder go through him and laughed outright at his expression of sham horror. She flicked his ear in return.
"Ow! See… people's exhibit A!" His smile totally belied his attempt at seriousness, and then he bit at her bottom lip. Knowing exactly what that did to her.
"I had a very good teacher, remember." The breathy reply wasn't what she intended, but when his fingers did *that*… reallly, what did anyone expect?
"True." He grinned, that cocky, arrogant grin that she really should hate, but somehow she *totally* didn't.
"Oh please!" She knew her eyes rolled as an automatic response. And considering the reaction she got – those damn fingers – he obviously appreciated it. Then suddenly, her mind hitched back a few minutes… how the heck had she miss that the first time around? "Family?"
She watched as it took him the requisite few seconds to make like he was confused by her tangent. She loved that he still did that. Suddenly his eyes darkened, then flared and she felt the answering goose-bumps cover ever single nanometer of her.
"Yeah," he almost whispered, as reverently as a prayer. Wonder and purpose threading every word. "A family. *My* family."
She knew her smile was as brilliant as the light in his eyes. But the correction was automatic. "Ours, Jack."
He grinned. "Oh yeah, *really* hoping the peanut takes after me…"